How do I make homemade citrus pectin?

January 12, 2009

Help Carol,

I saw in a thread somewhere you mentioned instructions for homemade citrus pectin but I've been searching and searching but haven't found it (even using google advance search of garden web, though I'm not very practiced at that.)

Anyway, I've got loads of citrus to work with this time of year and would love to learn how to make my own pectin. Please share those instructions again or post a link to it here.

I've found plenty of recipes for making apple pectin but apples are not abundant or cheap here since we don't get enough chilling hours for most varieties of them. I have been throwing lots of citrus stuff left from juicing into the compost and it seems I could get some extra value from it.

Does freezing affect pectin?


Comments (10)

  • cabrita

    In citrus you get the pectin from the pits (pips). It works very well. I use them when making marmalade. Not sure how to get the pectin outside of the marmalade making process though. If you want to see how to make marmalade with pectin from the orange pits I can post a link for that if you let me know.

  • tclynx

    If it is simply putting the pips in a spice bag (bag made with a few layers of cheese cloth) and boiling it along with the fruit, then I guess that is easy enough. I've heard that the skins and membranes of the citrus (especially grapefruit) are also high in pectin and there was mention that there is a way to make homemade pectin from citrus so I'm hoping that we will hear back on that one.

    I've heard that apple pectin can be made up in a big batch for use through the season, if I can do something similar with citrus pectin, that would be really great as I still have a grapefruit tree full of fruit as well as some fruit on a sour orange tree out front.

  • ksrogers

    Those little cumquats usually have a lot of big seeds inside. I bet they have the highest amount of this type of pectin. Keep in mind, that Pomona pectin which is citris based also gives a different texture for jellies and jams. Its more like a thick Jello compared to regular pectins used in making regular sweetened with sugar type jellies and jams.

  • cabrita

    Yes, pips in a spice bag, boil with fruit, allow cooling overnight, squeeze the bag (you will see a milky liquid come out), heat again and add sugar. If there is an easy way to extract pectin from grapefruit peels I would be interested too.

  • readinglady

    Home cooks have been making pectin stock for a long, long time. Basically pectin stock can be made from any high-pectin fruit - apples, quinces, lemons, oranges, even plums I suppose. Apple stock is by far the most common because apples are loaded with natural pectin, they're available over a wide range of climate zones, they're easy to prep and the resulting stock is pretty "neutral." So apple pectin base is a good flavor carrier and can be used in a wide variety of jams and jellies without being obvious.

    Citrus pectin has slightly different qualities from apple. There's a difference in texture and the flavor is more pronounced. The difference in texture doesn't mean it's inferior. Manufacturers will choose one over the other (apple v.s. citrus) depending upon what they're making and the "mouthfeel" they're aiming for. The more pronounced flavor of a lemon pectin base means it's most suited for a jam or jelly where you want that lemon.

    The majority of pectin in citrus is contained in the white part of the skin  the pith or "albedo"  plus the membranes between the segments and the seeds. So if you really want some super-jelling pectin stock in large quantities, that's what you'll use. But, the pith is also bitter, so there is a tradeoff, which is why some "gourmet" commercial jam-makers settle for less quantity and use only the membranes and seeds.

    You can find the formula for citrus pectin if you scroll down the page at the site link; it's an old document from 1931.

    I hope this helps. Happy preserving,


    Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Pectin

  • tclynx

    Thank you Carol. Definitely the kind of info I was searching for.

  • tclynx

    Wow, the seeds that were in the cheese cloth bag soaking in the marmalade fixings produced the goopiest stuff when I squeezed it this morning.

    I've got a batch to membrane and seeds soaking in lemon juice and water that I give a boil to later. Now I'm wondering how to keep this pectin until use? In the fridge? Or should I freeze it in small portions?

  • readinglady

    Can it just like jelly (4 oz. or 8 oz. jars) or freeze it. You can also make pectin the day ahead of use and refrigerate.


  • tclynx

    Then I'll probably freeze some since I've not seen any 4 oz jars around and all my small 8 oz jars are full right now. I hae 8 oz freezer cups on hand though.

  • Mixalis

    tclynx Here's a URL of making pectin from citrus seeds. Thought it might be the one you were looking for. Even if now it's amazing how much pectin you can get with just the seeds soaking in water overnight.

    Enjoy !!!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Homemade Citrus Marmalade Pectin from Seeds

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